Page XV

Whose ideas are you thinking today?
Who put that shovel in your hands?
Whose face is in your mirror
when you dig and dig for what is already
within reach and ripe on your own tree?

In the shadow of the town clock
          striking the hour -
rich and poor, old and young alike

No bird ever left its trail
behind in the sky -
What does one make
of one's life in the end?

clear moon, open heart -
      in the town plaza
I'm waiting for someone to take me home

Among the cemetery tombstones,
          flowers bloom -
the spring here is beautiful too

no one can say where the mind begins
or ends like the blue sky always above us

like the spring grasses that bloom
and fall away in only a few days
our love was not meant to last the season

The light of dawn -
        each face I see in my memory
this morning looks beautiful

like climbing stairs without reaching the top -
the poem I've rewritten twenty times

the Cuale River overflows its banks -
I can't get that boy out of my mind

mid-afternoon nap -
         I dream of an evening
when I am not alone

the spring rains -
          I go back each day
to count the daffodils in the flower bed

The pillow we shared last night may know our words
                            and dreams
but it won't speak of them to others, and neither will we

Will I ever see him again?
The spring rains return and with them the buds, but
       those blossoms of the human heart,
who can say what will become of them tomorrow.

I wish I were the leaves on the autumn tree in your
        courtyard that fall now at your feet

Rarer than the rarest gem,
deeper than the fathomless sea,
clearer than the translucent sky -
the heart that can discern

If you can't find the true form in your heart,
where will you go looking for it?
Though you walk a hundred thousand miles, still
the road won't come to an end.

late at night on the beach waves close at hand
alone with my thoughts joyful and dreary by turn
what is a man to do with his life I wonder
only the moon comes down to sit beside me for awhile

These fragrant annuals bloom the same as always,
so my heart is the one that has changed.
The scent that used to bring memories
of you now reminds me of nothing.

You can get it right here,
even if you don't know what you're looking for.
A true word opens the heart,
no matter how heavy the gates.

I am lonely for you -
     But if I cry out, it is only the mountain echo
              that returns to me

My virtues are few and my faults many
I am like the diamond that is flawed
and cannot be cut just right,
though for some odd reason the great jeweller
still holds this jewel in esteem.

clear night -
one star after another
blossoms in this heart

the short night -
      the beard of the dead man
needs a shave

the summer moon in the wide river
             crosses over with me
to the other shore

The winds at Los Muertos beach
blow cool this evening.
This heart that blazes up for you
does not die down.

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to the collection All Fall Down